If You Suffer from Cervical Neck Pain a Neck Support Pillow May be the Solution You've Been Looking For

Although people spend nearly 1/3 of their lives asleep (or at least trying to sleep), we don’t often think about the affect sleep can have on our bodies – that is until there is a problem. Chronic neck and shoulder pain as well as headaches plague many people.

One of the easiest potential solutions for these problems is to get a good-quality neck pillow. There are a number of pillows, called cervical pillows or cervical spine pillows, on the market. Not all such pillows are creating equal, though. Some are definitely better than others. And no pillow is perfect for everyone.

Cervical Neck Sleep PillowsIn the following article I examine three of the most popular cervical neck pillows on the market. All of them are available from Amazon.Com at discounted prices and with a free shipping option. Each of the pillows have a large number of reviews and the vast majority of their ratings are the highest possible on Amazon – five starts.

A new cervical pillow can and often does cause some mild soreness the first few times you use it. This is because the pillow actually causes changes in the neck, head and shoulder positions during the night that require your muscles to make adjustments. These adjustments are beneficial, like giving the neck a workout while you sleep. Typically the adjustment period takes from two to twelve days, though usually less than a week is required.

Tri-Core Cervical Pillow by Core Products

Core Products Tri-core Cervical Pillow
  • The key to this pillow is the trapezoidal center that cradles the head and provides neck support, and also prevents the head from rolling to the side.
  • It has been recommended by health care professionals
  • The Tri-Core has been found to be one of the longest lasting of pillows, and maintains solid support throughout its life
  • There are three size options, for infants, children and medium-sized adults
  • Some people with neck injuries, such as herniated disc, reported the pillow relieved all or most neck pain
  •  Others reported they were able to get a good night of sleep for the first time in a long time.
  • Most of the highest reviewers were back sleepers
  • Those who said they sleep mostly on their sides gave slightly lower reviews, mostly 3-4 star at Amazon, versus the 5 star rating of most back sleepers.
  • It is recommended that side sleepers use the sides of the pillow, which still provides good neck support
  • A short period of from two days to two weeks should be allowed in order for the muscles in the neck and shoulders to adjust to the new sleeping position created by the pillow.
  • Core has a 100% satisfaction guarantee on all their products

Arc4life Cervical Linear Traction Neck Pillow

Arc4life Cervical Linear Traction Neck Pillow

  • A ‘V’ shape on the front of the pillow holds your head in place, gently pulling it away from your shoulders to provide a stretch.
  • You can turn the pillow around to the inverted position and it has cervical spine support without the ‘V’ cradle.
  • The sides of the pillow are wide for side sleeping but still provide neck support.
  • The Arc4life pillow has been recommended by health care professionals
  • The pillow has adopted what its makers call the “universally accepted ideal for firmness”
  • 73% of the reviewers gave this pillow a positive rating of four or five out of five starts on Amazon.com
  • Those who gave the pillow a negative review (only a small percent) complained that the pillow was too firm for them, or that they woke up with significant neck pain.
  • Arc4life recommends that you gradually ease into using the pillow, starting with only a few hours and working up to a full night over time.
  • Most reviewers stated significant improvement or even complete elimination of neck pain after only a few weeks.
  • This pillow comes in only one size, though most people found the pillow to be an appropriate size for themselves.

Mediflow Waterbase Pillow

Mediflow Waterbase Pillow
  • The unique waterbase of this pillow is designed to automatically adjust as your head moves, maintaining the proper support and preventing you from waking up.
  • The waterbase, as its name suggests, contains water that you add to provide flexible support
  • You can adjust the firmness of the pillow by adjusting the volume of water you add. Less water provides a softer cushion. More water increases the firmness.
  • It can be machined washed and dried.
  • This pillow was ranked as the best of all pillows in a clinical study at Johns Hopkins University. The study measured a variety of pillows and their effects on sleep duration and quality, but also on neck pain. The Mediflow was ranked best in reducing the intensity of neck pain.
  • Unlike other cervical support pillows, the waterbase pillow does not have a head cradle or other cervical support component. Rather, the waterbase allows the pillow to provide more or less support based on the shape and position of your neck and head.
  • The pillow holds between 2-6 quarts of water, depending on whether you want a soft or firm pillow
  • Once filled the pillow is rather heavy and difficult to move around.
  • The reviewers on Amazon state that the pillow provides excellent support for any position – back, side or front.
  • A few of the negative reviewers stated that the pillow had a plastic or rubber smell to it that they didn’t like. Some others said it is a great pillow, just not for them.
  • A small number of reviewers said that even when filled with six quarts the pillow was not firm enough for them.
  • Most of the reviewers gave not just a good rating, but the highest rating of five stars, and some said they would give it more stars if they could.

Cervical Neck Pillow Comparison


Made by

Back Sleepers

Side Sleepers



Amazon Cost

Tri-Core Cervical Pillow

Core Products



Trapezoid head cradle in center supports neck and keeps head stationary

4.1 Stars
78% positive
13% negative


Cervical Linear Traction Neck Pillow




On one side is a “V” shape that supports and cradles the head. On the other is a neck support

4.1 Stars
73% Positive
16% Negative


Waterbase Pillow




A container on the underside of the pillow is filled with water to customize firmness and provide neck and head support in any position

4.2 Stars
81% Positive
14% Negative


It is important to keep in mind that these pillows are not cure-alls. However, most users have credited their cervical spine support pillows with:

  • Reducing or eliminating chronic headaches and migraines
  • Reducing or eliminating chronic neck pain
  • Improving strength and flexibility in the neck, shoulders and arms
  • Reducing or eliminating numbness, tingling and shooting pains related to neck injuries
  • Improving the quality and length of sleep
  • Saving money on medical visits. Even the more expensive pillows cost less than two visits to a chiropractor
  • Reducing or eliminating snoring due to the way the pillow opens up your breathing passages

Take a look at the pillows available on Amazon, read the reviews and purchase the pillow that sounds the best for you. Once you get the pillow have some patience as your body adjusts to the changes the pillow will make. If you experience increased pain or discomfort back off and only use the pillow for a few hours at a time, slowly building up to a full night of sleep.